(Sorry for the long post)
So I’ve been dealing with Masturbation for nearly 5 years (I’m 18 now). I didn’t realize it was a sin at first, but I quickly became aware of it soon after. I’ve been trying to stop for 3 or 4 years now—which actually seems much longer than that—but have always failed. I’ve confessed the sin, and within two weeks do it again.
Early on I would commit this sin daily, but after a couple years cut it down to about once a week. I had good weeks followed by bad weeks for quite some time. Recently, I thought I had been making some major progress. I went over 5 weeks before falling for a couple days. I built myself back up and had a good week, but fell once again.
I’ve read the posts on how to avoid and overcome this habit, and they’ve all been helpful and I’ve tried them all. My issue is this: How quick is God to forgive? Will he show mercy even when I struggle with the same thing for a long period of time?
Each time I fail, I quickly ask for forgiveness and pray. I get to confession when I can, and I attend mass weekly. But over the years, the process repeats itself.
Good weeks or even months seem to be washed out by two or three bad days. I pray, I beg for mercy and build myself back up where I fall again. I keep track of how many consecutive days I’ve been clean, then I fall down and the streak snaps at 33 days and I start all over. I get frustrated because I feel like I need to go another 33 days before I start to make more progress and show God my effort.
I’m 18, was raised in a devout catholic household, receive the sacraments, pray, read the bible, and attend mass. I feel like I should know better by now.
I know God forgives, I know nobody is perfect but I really beat myself up when I fail. I know I should avoid the computer, because I know what follows, but I fail. At this point, I’m kind of sick of fighting the same battle over and over. I always get to confession when I can, but in the meantime (and after) I still feel like I can’t win.
I know what leads me into sin, but sometimes I just walk into it anyway. I feel like when I do this I’m not a good follower of Jesus because, in the past, I have been able to overcome this sin. I feel like I am just choosing to Mas. , and not trusting God or loving Jesus enough to overcome it.
I think I am being way too hard on myself, but I just feel lost at this point.